Storm clouds loom over Los Angeles

Storm clouds loom over Los Angeles (KTLA / March 31, 2014)

A cold storm front coming from the Gulf of Alaska was expected to deliver rain and lower temperatures to Southern California beginning Monday, prompting preparation for possible mud flows in areas scarred by recent wildfires, according to KTLA.

The first wave of light-to-moderate rains was expected to arrive late Monday afternoon, bringing several hours of rain, according to the National Weather Service. More showers could come Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Heavy downpours could bring mud and debris flows in Azusa and Glendora, which are recovering from the nearly 2,000-acre Colby Fire.

The city of Glendora raised its emergency protocol level to yellow, meaning parking restrictions were in effect and residents of the “Colby Fire Impact Area” were asked to remove some vehicles, trash bins and other objects from roadways, KTLA reported.

Residents were told to be alert to changing weather conditions, though the city noted in a statement that no heavy mud flows were expected and only “heavier downpours” might trigger light mud flows.

In neighboring Azusa, where homes were also affected by the Colby Fire, some residents were stocking up on sand bags as a precautionary measure.

Ed Henlen, a homeowner whose house rests against a hillside, was building a berm to prevent mud and debris from flowing into his residence.

“The last time there was only 22 minutes of rain and it flushed this whole thing down,” Henlen said, gesturing toward the hillside. “It stayed for three days. In 22 minutes we got all the damage here.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’s forecast predicted no mud flows for the Colby Fire area or other recently burned areas.

The precipitation could drop snow levels to 4,000 feet on some slopes, and the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine could be impacted.

By Wednesday, elevations above 5,000 feet could see 3 to 6 inches of new snow.

Winds could gust to 40 mph in the mountains and Antelope Valley, where a wind advisory was in effect from 1 to 9 p.m. Monday.

In the inland deserts and mountains, a wind advisory was slated from 4 p.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday, with isolated gusts of up to 65 mph. Blowing sand and windy conditions could make driving conditions challenging in the deserts.

Total rainfall for most areas was likely to range from one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch, with more in the mountains, the weather service stated.

-- Melissa Pamer, KTLA

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